Dear Ms. Sheehan,
I can imagine you must be getting hundreds, if not thousands of emails and messages by now, from both sides. I hope the ones in support so far out number the negative ones. I also hope it stays that way, but I’m afraid it won’t. After their initial confusion and surprise, the Reds are mobilizing. You threw them at first, they weren’t ready for you. Then they thought they could just dismiss you as a Leftist Crazy, but that didn’t work either. Now, they’re going to come after you with everything and anything they can think of.
It’s nice to hear that George W. Bush grieves with you. It’s also nice that he finally knows your son Casey’s name; I’ll bet he won’t forget it anytime soon either. After his initial days of silence hoping you’d just go away, then his peoples threats to have you arrested if you didn’t stop bullying the poor man and leave him alone, after making you crawl through ditches in the blistering heat and sit soaking in the rain, he was forced to acknowledge your presence. That’s a loss for him right there, and one that I hope will cause him some grief as well.
It’s an interesting position you’re in. This thing, at this point at least, won’t be over until you say it’s over. and that’s both the strength and the danger for you. Since they now know they can’t ignore you, arrest you or placate you, they have to get you some other way. Are you ready for the character assassination phase? The fact that you were called to meet with George Bush just after Casey was killed and chose to be decorous at that meeting is being portrayed as you first supporting him, then, becoming one of the dreaded “flip-floppers” ala’ John Kerry. Now you’re someone with an “AGENDA”.
It’s something they do well, this flip-flop thing. It’s an Administration that prides itself on never changing it’s mind, never adapting to the ebb and flow of either politics or war. They’ve taken a serious character flaw and somehow turned it into an asset in the minds of half the nation. It allows them sit back, nod sagely and say, “Good. Everything’s falling apart on schedule.” just as if they planned it that way. For my part, I love to see people change their minds, acknowledge their mistakes, then try to do better.
Red blogs are making a lot of Casey’s aunt’s statements of support for Bush, forgetting that in this fifty/fifty nation, for every pro-Bush opinion, there’s an anti-Bush one. They also forget that it doesn’t matter what your sister in law, or aunts, uncles or cousins for that matter think, as if their support of Bush makes Casey’s death okay. You’re the one standing in the rain and sun in Crawford and this ones all about you. Don’t let em distract you.
One mistake I think you are making is this however: I’ve been hearing reports of your calling for an immediate pullout of all troops in Iraq. If it were me, I’d stick to the purity of your initial goal…”What is the Noble Cause?” That’s the big question, what was the initial justification for this terrible pre-emptive war. All other things will come to pass with the answer, or lack thereof, to that question.
Take me for instance…as a student of military history I think George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz are three of the most inept military planners since the French at Agincourt and that there’s no way they can ever win in Iraq, but even I am uncomfortable with an immediate and total pullout. Just as the French loss at Agincourt in 1415 plunged France into years of anarchy, so would a complete pullout in Iraq end in chaos and civil war.
Under George W. Bush, we are a nation that has committed a grave error, very possibly even a crime. As painful as it is, we must find a way to rectify the wrong we did. Otherwise, thousands more innocent men, women and children will die and their deaths will be on our hands as well. Since George Bush won’t admit his mistake, we need to find a leader who will, then work to fix it. You’re part in exposing Bush’s lies, and it’s become a big one, will help us find that new leader. There are a lot of people with a lot of thoughts, hopes and dreams that will try to influence you, just like I have. Listen to them, think about them, then do what you think is best. So far you’ve been spot on.
If you’ve had a chance to read my other postings about you then you know how much I admire and respect you…your courage, your pain and tenaciousness. I wish I could be there with you, but quite frankly I’m afraid that even if I could come Captain Vanek would just beat the crap outta me for the things I’ve written about him.
It’s not much I know, but as long as you keep fighting, I’ll keep writing. As they say, this too shall pass and one day you can go home, lay in your own bed and finally rest, comfortable in the knowledge of the good you’ve done in your son Casey’s memory. You have the prayers and good wishes of literally millions of us here and around the world. I hope that gives you strength and comfort.